Game of Thrones, HBO’s fantasy drama television series captures the imagination of millions of international viewers with its incredible tale of kings, dragons and noble families. But it’s the lessons behind the story that leave the deepest impression and takeaways for companies, or those thinking about going into business.

How can companies better position themselves for growth?

In this current age and era, if you are not progressively growing as a company, you may find yourself paying the price later on.

Here, we discuss the 4 key business lessons we learned from the 7 Kingdoms.

1. Know your competitors and play to your strengths:
The Greyjoys boosts the most feared naval army in the series, but they choose to focus on land battles in the North instead. That might have come across as a mistake considering that the North is vulnerable to naval attacks, resulting in the Greyjoys losing out on a huge opportunity to rule Westeros.

Similarly, in the business world and more often than not, companies oftentimes neglect the significance of performing ‘market research’ and focus on their weaknesses, rather than identifying and playing to their strengths.

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2. Have a clear, sound strategy and perfect your timing:
Since the beginning of the series, Daenerys Stormborn, had one end goal. She wanted to return to Westeros. At that point, she only had some money, no army, and a greedy brother. In just six seasons, she was able to build heaps of wealth, multiple armies, and let’s not forget her three dragons. We saw her achieve this by seizing opportunities that were presented to her. As she chooses Esos to grow and establish, it gave her a huge advantage, as other kingdoms were fighting amongst themselves, while she was at a steady growth rate.

In reality, smaller businesses typically practice a spontaneous approach and they fail to review their roadmap on a consistent basis.

Also, timing is everything. You have likely heard this said many times before. Learning to identify good timing and making the most of it when opportunity presents itself is the difference between success and failure.

3. Identify and create sustainable partnerships:
There is not a single kingdom that is powerful enough on its own to rule the rest. All great leaders understand the importance of alliance, and tie down relationships so alliances will last.

Likewise in business, the chances of survival are unlikely without any help. Findings show that companies that adopt a win-win culture report a better success and growth rate of up to 80% as compared to those who don’t at 20%.

In summary, partnerships are proven keys to success. They will not only allow your business to grow in a steady fashion, but also provides a better sense of security for the business.

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4. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail:
The famous saying, “Winter is coming”, originated from the series, as it showed the North saving up their resources for the winter cycle. These words were used to remind them of the challenges that lay in front of them. Even the wealthiest families stored food in summer season, and sold it for a huge profit during harsh winters.

In actual fact, successful companies operate in seasonal cycles – and they know when and how to take advantage of the situation.

Bearing in mind that a strategic approach to planning your moves ahead will not only give you a huge leverage in your business, but also limit unforeseen setbacks that could have been avoided in the first place.

The Kingdoms knew exactly what was coming their way, as past experiences had prepared them for it. Take in your past experiences as examples, and plan ahead.